At the turn of the twentieth century, despite equal rights as citizens, the Afro-American community ( 95 % of which was in the Southern States), faced a sharp economic and political divide. (Kelley & Lewis 347)…
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At the turn of the twentieth century, despite equal rights as citizens, the Afro-American community ( 95 % of which was in the Southern States), faced a sharp economic and political divide. (Kelley & Lewis 347). As the sharecropping community of African American farmers were gradually pushed out by white farmers, a phenomenon of urban migration began to the cities of the North – New York, Philadelphia and Chicago (the Great Migration 1916-17). A new trend began in American society, that of racial segregation into ghettos. (Kelley & Lewis 356). Meanwhile as lynchings in the South continued well into the first few decades, racial violence spread into the cities too with organizations like the Ku Klux Klan infiltrating the northern cities.
The events and trends that signalled a change from the 1900's onwards was an increased impetus for community building for Afro-Americans : churches, businesses, schools, clubs and lodges (Kelley & Lewis 366). The Church in particular became an important part of Afro-American community life, and the focus for political activism and intellectual leadership that would proliferate over the coming decades. The other important phenomenon was the growth of the Afro-American women's club movement, as the ranks of the National Association of Colored women (NACW) grew to 100,000 by 1920 from only 5,000 in the late 1890's. (Kelley & Lewis 369).
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